Absent a Gallbladder

Just a quick update for those who read my previous posts on my gallbladder issues. After 14 years of successfully avoiding gallbladder surgery by simply paying attention to what I put into my pie hole, perimenopause changed everything.

Within 6 months of becoming perimenopausal, my gallbladder began attacking me with ongoing frequency, without any change in diet or other circumstance. After two particularly bad episodes one day apart, I finally relented and met with a surgeon. After blood work and other minor testing, the procedure was scheduled for about a week later.

The procedure itself went smoothly. Unfortunately, it turned out that I had a severe reaction to the anesthesia that is used in this type of surgery. Apparently, about 85% of people do. What should have been about 3 hours start to finish turned into an all-day nightmare of uncontrollable shakes, vomiting, and general misery. After having to be catheterized to pee (it really wasn’t as bad as it sounds), I was deemed stable enough to go home. For 2 weeks, I swore that the aftermath of the procedure and the pain in my belly button region (that’s where they insert the tools to suck out the gallbladder) was, in fact, worse than all but 2 of my gallbladder attacks.

Finally, healing progressed as did my activity level. Within a month, I was back to my usual, full workout schedule at the gym. Now, I no longer have to stress at every restaurant meal about whether something fried will sneak into the dish. And on rare occasions (let’s not forget that, gallbladder or not, fried foods aren’t ever a healthy option) I’ll enjoy french fries or fried chicken without worry.

Ultimately (anesthesia reactions aside), I would do it again if necessary. I was happy to be able to avoid surgery for as long as I did. But when my body just wouldn’t hear of it any longer, I’m glad I was able to remedy the situation.